Two Dungannon men who admitted the theft of a cash box from a car park in the town have been given jail sentences.
Stephen Robert Bartley, 30, of Castle Hill, Dungannon and his co-accused Dolan Patrick Duffy, 27, also of Castle Hill, were both charged with theft and criminal damage relating to an incident on March 4th this year.
A court heard how police were called to Ann Street Car Park in the town following a report of 2 males who were spotted trying to remove a cash box from the car park entrance. When police arrived they received details from the injured party and got descriptions of what the two males looked like.
A short time later a member of the public phoned police to inform them of the identity of the two males. Police then called at the address of Mr Bartley where they spoke to his mother who confirmed Mr Bartley and Mr Duffy had been at the house a short time earlier looking for a screwdriver. She informed police she thought they were going to Spiros Arcade.
Police called at Spiros Arcade and identified the two defendants who were playing on the slot machines. When Mr Duffy was searched £14 in single coins was found, and a further £12 was found in his wallet.
Police arrested the two males and Mr Bartley told officers on his arrest, “I done it, it’s in my ma’s bin”.
Officers later attended the address and located the cash box in the black bin. Mr Bartley admitted to firstly kicking the box and ripping it off the wall. He said he tried to open it with a screwdriver and when that failed he smashed it on the floor.
A defence solicitor acting for both men described them as ‘two hapless criminals’ with who the District Judge John Meehan was familiar with. He added that the incident was a ‘matter of pure instinct’ for the men.
District Judge John Meehan sentenced Mr Duffy to 6 months in prison for each of the two offences to run concurrently. Mr Bartley was given the same sentence and also had a suspended sentence of 2 months activated to run consecutively. Both were also ordered to pay £25 offender levy.